Surprising Health Benefits of Pets!

April 25, 2018 Ali No comments exist

Something I Learned About Pets Through Nutrition Testing

As some of you know, I do nutrition testing at my office, on people and animals! I do nutrition testing for many reasons; it helps me find out things that I would otherwise not know about the patient’s health. It gives me a bigger picture of their health. If a patient’s progress is slower than expected, or if they have a chronic disease or issue, often the nutrition testing will give me answers, point me in the right direction for their health care and will show me what they need to take to get back on track.

Sometimes, I do nutrition testing on pets and their owners. Which has shown me something REALLY INTERESTING. Often, when testing animals, they have many of the same things show up as their owners. You could maybe say it’s due to living in the same environment, which I do think is part of it. However, I think it is also because animals take on some of our stresses and support our health.

An Example & Some Backstory on the Nutrition Testing

For an example, I’ll use my dog Sam and I. Part of the reason I love doing the nutrition testing I do (Morphological Field Testing – MFT) is because it has helped my health so significantly. When I went to the training for MFT, I was having a lot of health problems myself, frequent nausea, puking often, really low energy. ANYTIME I was around someone sick, I would catch what they had; and  just a general feeling of being unwell.

How Did the Nausea Start? A Trip to Mexico...

Just a quick historical item for you: My family went to Cozumel, Mexico when I was 13 years old, over Christmas, for family vacation. It was an excellent trip other than the third night, where I got HORRIFIC food poisoning. I was up all night, with a fever, shivering, throwing up, diarrhea, trying to take a shower or do anything to feel comfortable, to no avail. A day later I felt quite a bit better. However, since then, I’d always had nausea.

A Little Microbiology Lesson

Fast forward to the summer before starting chiropractic school, I was taking a microbiology course. There was a section on parasites, and one of the things we learned about was worms… disgusting, right?! The pictures were terrible. As the teacher was describing the symptoms, I started to get an icky feeling in the pit of my stomach, because a lot of these symptoms sounded like me. Frequent nausea, waking up in the night, eating lots of food but can’t ever gain weight (because the worms are eating your food). I remember thinking, “Ah I have worm parasites!!” But then I thought, no I must just be paranoid…

My First Time Getting the Nutrition Testing

Fast forward again to MFT training, my second year of being a chiropractor. The teacher asks, “Does anyone think they have an immune challenge?” My hand shot up in the air because I knew that sounded like me. He tested me and the whole time I was thinking “Please not parasites, please not worms.” And what do you know, he gets to that part of the test, and indeed I have parasites, and they are large worms. You have no idea how gross that felt in the moment. My worst scenario was truly happening. YUCK! He told me I had worms in my heart, my brain and my lungs. This made so much sense, I had been having these weird pains in my heart but ignored it because I figured I was too young to have a heart problem. At chiropractic school, we had spirometers to use (measures air movement out of the lungs). My lungs were always SO weak compared to my classmates. And I had these weird creepy crawly feelings on my head sometimes. So gross guys, I know. He told me that I’ve had them for YEARS, and that I would need to take these supplements for a long time to get rid of them.

I'll show you this cute worm cartoon instead of showing you what they actually look like

After Taking the Supplements to Kill the Worms

I’ve been taking the worm killing supplement for 3 years now. After about 6 months, my lungs felt back to normal. After about a year, I quit feeling the crawling sensation on my skull. I only feel the heart pain once in a blue moon now instead of a few times a day, so I’m pretty sure those are almost gone too. That’s after taking 6 of this supplement each day in addition to the rest of my supplement regimen. Those of you I’ve tested who think you take a lot of supplements, I guarantee you don’t have to take as many as me!

Back to the Pets!! Sam's Nutrition Test

Ok, sorry for the interlude, but you needed to know a bit of the backstory. When I tested my dog Sam for nutrition, I thought FOR SURE, I knew what was going to show up. She was born with hip dysplasia, and has an old shoulder injury that bothers her after running hard at the dog park. I assumed her testing would show she needed joint and muscle support.

I was completely wrong, her testing showed she had an immune challenge and needed adrenal support. Crazy! Just like my me! The first time I was tested, my adrenals showed up as needing intense help, they were VERY burnt out.

Is this a pattern though, or just a coincidence for Sam and I?

I will tell you that EVERY TIME I have tested a pet and their owner, the tests have been eerily similar, to almost identical. Our animals are taking on some of our health problems for us!

Wild! Although not that surprising if you think about it. When you’re sick or having a terrible day, and you get home, you know your pet is right by your side, making sure you’re ok, maybe cuddling with you, and staying by you until you feel better.

A Quick Story About My Horse & My Mom

Fun story about that scenario. I LOVE horses, and get the joy of working with them now. When I was younger and leasing a horse for the summer, my mom was afraid of horses and did not really enjoy being close to them. The first summer, a week before the county fair, my horse Auna, kicked at a fly in the barn and actually kicked through the barn wall. Horses have a major artery at the bottom of their legs that is very dangerous to have cut, think like femoral artery in humans. She sliced that artery and was spurting blood everywhere. The horse vet was out of town so the cattle vet had to be called out for emergency to help her. She almost died a couple times, very scary. My mom was nervous for Auna, and feeling bad for me having to deal with this situation. She was standing near the fence, where the rest of the horses were on the other side. Two of the other horses walked up behind her, one put its head on her right shoulder, the other put its head on her left shoulder. She said they stayed that way for quite a while, and she felt so comforted. She said it was the sweetest thing. After that she liked horses a lot more and wasn’t so afraid anymore.

Do Pets Benefit Our Health In Other Ways?

So we know animals help us when we’re feeling down. And take on some of our health issues. But do they benefit our health in other ways? ABSOLUTELY!

Here are some additional health benefits of having pets:

  • Lowers Stress
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Eases Pain
  • Improves Mood : pet owners have been found to be less agitated, and laugh more often
    • Think: your sweet pet greeting you every time they see you, and they’re always so excited, even if you’ve only been gone 5 minutes.
    • Also laughing at the silly things they do: The other day, my dog Sam tried to “shake” with my boyfriend’s dog Lulu, so cute and so hysterical at the same time!
  • Helps people socialize
    • I notice this ALL the time, everyone thinks Sam is adorable, it starts conversations with people that live in my building all the time, they all have questions about her and want to pet her.
  • Helps children develop, especially emotionally
    • They learn to express themselves and relate to others better.
  • Can help to monitor blood sugar level
    • Service dogs are trained to do this, how cool?!
  • Prevent allergies and improves immunity
    • Some studies have shown if when you are a child, you have family pets and especially if you grow up on a farm, that you may have fewer allergies and can have stronger immunity
    • Side note: This doesn’t work later in life, you can’t get a pet as an adult and have it help your allergies.

A Few Extra Fun Facts

Dog owners are 57-77% more likely to achieve sufficient physical activity than people who don’t own dogs.
Harriet Cooper

Often, people are willing to do more for their pets than they are for themselves, which can lead to some interesting things.

  • When inactive dog owners were encouraged to walk for their dogs’ health, they were more likely to do so (than just for their own exercise)
  • People are less likely to smoke when told secondhand smoke could hurt their pets.

One last thing, Zooeyia: means the human-animal bond. I am a huge fan of that bond, I LOVE animals, always have and always will. I also kind of like that Zoo is in the word because I have also always loved wild animals, and haven’t had the fear of them that I likely should have. Someday I would love to treat wild animals or zoo animals, it’s a dream of mine to treat a tiger and an elephant especially!

Comment: Tell me how pets have improved your live or your health!

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